Torrence, Hight continue 2019 domination

Steve Torrence raced to his fifth consecutive race victory Sunday afternoon, June 9, at the 31st annual Menards NHRA Heartland Nationals presented by Minties at Heartland Motorsports Park when he faced his father, Billy Torrence, in the final round.


Steve and his father qualified one and two respectively in the 14-car field and although Billy had the starting line advantage in the final, Steve’s Capco dragster got to the finish line .008-second ahead of his dad’s entry. It was just the second father-son Top Fuel final in NHRA history (Connie Kalitta and his son Scott raced at the 1994 Gatornationals, which Scott won).


Steve Torrence now has a whopping 949 to 628 point lead over second-place Doug Kalitta. Billy Torrence, who only races part-time, is 10th in points with 440.

Robert Hight was victorious in Funny Car, getting his fourth win of the season and tying with Don Prudhomme at 49 all-time wins.


Hight defeated Shawn Langdon and J.R. Todd in the first two rounds. Hight now leads Tommy Johnson Jr. in the Funny Car points with 933 to Johnson’s 725. Johnson, who won last week at Joliet, turned on the red light in his semifinal against Hight.


In the final against Jack Beckman, Hight’s Camaro ran a 3.895 at 330.88 mph to a 3.969/323.97 for Beckman’s Dodge Charger. There were 15 entries in the class.      

Jackson takes win in wild Pro Mod competition

Pro Mod are known for being hard to handle and they certainly showed it at Topeka.

In the first round of the class Jeremy Ray got loose about half-track, went left and then darted back to the middle of the track, narrowly missing Erica Enders in the right lane, and then hit the right wall hard. Ray was not injured, but his car was another story.


But there was more carnage to come in the first round as Enders’ Elite Motorsports teammate Alex Laughlin scraped the left side wall in his match with Mike Janis and then Todd Tutterow collided with Steven Whitely just past the finish line, putting both cars out of the competition.


Enders ran the Top Speed of the class in her second-round match with “Stevie Fast” Jackson, but Jackson took the win. He had beaten a late-off-the-line Michael Biehle in the first round and then got the semifinal win over Sidnei Frigo, who had won the last Pro Mod contest at Virginia.


Clint Satterfield got the first-round win over Khalid alBalooshi, then got a bye when Tutterow was unable to make the call. He then got the semifinal win over Mike Janis.


In the final Jackson lived up to his nickname as he had a .030 RT to Satterfield’s .090 and then his Camaro ran 5.747/251.72 to the 5.933/251.58 for Satterfield’s Camaro. It was the second victory of the year for Jackson, who also qualified No. 1.


The E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by J&A Service will compete this weekend at Bristol, TN.  

Midwest Super Comp Series heads for Byron this weekend

Midwest Super Comp Series points leader Chad LaMont (near lane) at the NHRA Route 66 Nationals in Joliet. 


The Midwest Super Comp Series will be racing this weekend at Byron Dragway in Byron, IL. The winner of the Super Comp Shootout will take home $5,000.


Next on the series schedule will be Tri-State Raceway in Earlville, IA, on June 29-30.  

Beard, Powell headline Keystone IHRA event

Three-time IHRA World Champion Michael Beard (shown) returned to the winners circle Saturday, June 8, at the IHRA Summit Sportsman Spectacular event at Keystone Raceway Park in New Alexandria, PA.


Beard from Galloway, OH, flexed his Mopar muscle, driving his 1980 Plymouth Volare to the Mod division victory. He won on a holeshot with a .019 reaction time to best JT Harrold from Pittsburgh. Beard posted a 6.604-second pass at 101.10 mph against a 6.61 dial-in. Harrold in a 1971 Chevy Nova went 6.524 at 104.80 against a 6.53 dial-in.


Hometown driver Matt Powell doubled up by winning the Moser Engineering Sunday $5,000-to-win top prize for the Top division and also winning the Motorcycle class. AJ Casini captured the $5,000-to-win prize for the Top division for Battle Born Batteries Sunday.

Powell drove his Oldsmobile Cutlass to the Top victory when final-round opponent Nick Bowman from Delmont, PA, red-lighted. Powell had a 7.298 elapsed time at 93.44 mph against a 7.31 dial-in. Bowman, looking to repeat after his 2018 win at Keystone, had a 7.947-second pass in his Plymouth Duster after his foul. 


It was a good weekend for Powell on two wheels as well, winning another race when his final-round opponent fouled. His pass on an Electric Zero was 7.640 seconds at 98.43 mph against a 7.65 dial-in. Joseph Devola from Ruffs Dale, PA, went down the track in 6.886 seconds at 106.94 mph on his Suzuki GSXR 750.



Jr. Dragster 8-11: Abigail Romeo, New Alexandria PA, .044 RT, 12.34 dial, 12.345 ET, 51.40 mph def. Levi Lear, Uniontown PA, .073 RT, 9.326 ET, 71.60 mph


Jr. Dragster 12-17: Maicy Stewart, WV, .035 RT, 7.95 dial, 8.047 ET, 76.37 mph def. Samantha Geiser, Apollo PA, .259 RT, 7.899 ET, 82.30 mph


Street: Joe Tharp Jr., Waynesburg PA, Oldsmobile 442, .049 RT, 7.99 dial, 7.997 ET, 82.71 mph def. Mark Vasbinder, New Stanton PA, Mustang, .048 RT, 7.50 dial, 7.470 RT, 90.38 mph


Top: A.J. Casini, Hunker PA, .013 RT, 6.166 ET, 85.34 mph def. Rich Coury, Pittsburgh, RED LIGHT


Mod: Mason Fix, Amherst NY, .005 RT, 7.38 dial, 7.373 ET, 88.06 mph def. Joe Tharp Jr., 7.98 dial, 7.963 ET, 85.31 mph


Street: Glenn Perrin, Latrobe PA, .067 RT, 7.66 dial, 7.667 ET, 87.33 mph def. Joe Tharp Jr., .003, 7.97 dial, 8.047 ET, 82.75 mph



Motorcycle: Joseph Devola, .075 RT, 6.891 dial, 6.891, 102.20 mph def. Gary Garritano, Sarver PA, .096 RT, 5.442 ET, 124.14 mph


Jr. Dragster 8-11: Isabella Ritchey, Ebensburg PA, .080 RT, 9.07 dial, 9.073 ET, 70.70 mph def. Cody Shondelmyer, Saltsburg PA, .127 RT, 8.97 dial, 8.995 ET, 73.51 mph


Jr. Dragster 12-17: Kyle Penn, Tarentum PA, .046 RT, 7.92 dial, 7.988 RT, 77.11 mph def. Zoe Moser, Murrysville PA, .174 RT, 7.95 dial, 7.958 ET, 79.55 mph


The next IHRA Summit Sportsman Spectacular is scheduled for July 12-14 at US 131 Motorsports Park in Martin, MI.  

Man killed in explosion at Topeka track

Sadly, one man was killed in an explosion at Heartland Motorsports Park Friday evening.


The Topeka Fire Department arrived on scene at the track just after 6 p.m. Friday. When they got there, they found Joshua Aubert, 41, suffering from critical injuries from an explosion. EMS crews tried to save Aubert's life, but he succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead on the scene.


A preliminary investigation shows Aubert was using a torch to cut open what was believed to be an empty metal drum labeled as methanol when the explosion happened. 



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